What matters to you in your local area? Is it that Guildford is the most desirable place to live, work and visit in South East England. A centre for education, healthcare, innovative cutting edge businesses, high quality retail and wellbeing. A county town set in a vibrant rural environment, which balances the needs of urban and rural communities alike. Known for our outstanding urban planning and design, and with infrastructure that will properly cope with our needs. Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a councillor.
Guildford Borough Council can only be as effective, relevant and vibrant as the people elected to run it. The Council needs councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change.
Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways. Representing a population of over 143,000 across the Borough, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.
On Thursday 2 May 2019, all 48 Guildford Borough Council seats are up for election. This is an opportunity for you to stand as a representative of your local community and become a county councillor.
If you think being a Guildford Borough councillor is for you, test your eligibility to stand and find out more.
Local Councillors are the elected representatives of Guildford Borough Council. They are elected for four years unless they are elected at a by-election, in which case they must stand again at the next normal election for the seat.
Representing people in Guildford, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action is the most important task that any councillor undertakes. Significantly, it is also often the role that local people value most.
Guildford Borough Council is made up of 48 councillors who are elected every 4 years. They represent the 22 wards in the borough. The number of councillors for each ward depends upon the size of the electorate.
You can find out more about the political make-up of the Council, by clicking here: https://www.guildford.gov.uk/yourcouncil
Councillor Mike Parsons
I had for a very long time, an interest in local politics and how individuals can influence decisions that directly affect local communities. There was an opportunity to become involved with local community groups and applied to become a Parish Councillor to return something to my community with a chance to represent them and their views on making an investment directly in the community. It then transpired that I was invited to take that extra step to represent my community at the next level a step I felt that I could make a greater contribution.
Councillor Mike Hurdle
I was elected as one of the Send Ward councillors in 2015. My career was in Education; and I had worked as the Deputy Headteacher of a Woking Junior School, and had been involved with the management of an Out of Hours club for children attending the school.
I stood for election to represent the village in which I once worked, I’ve lived there for over twenty years, and I had a wish to represent views about the Local Plan which will shape Guildford for years to come. Since being elected, I have served on the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee, which monitors finance and the general good running of the Council; on the Licencing Committee and its sub-committees, which deal with e.g., people licensed to sell alcohol or drive taxis and private hire vehicles; and I’ve taken part in a number of working parties.
For many years I have also acted with and directed for the Send Amateur Dramatic Society, which is where I met my wife, Debbie. I drive for the village Help organisation, and sing as a baritone with the Guildford Barbershop Harmony Club, which I also chair.
Councillor Colin Cross
I was first elected at a by-election in September 2014 and subsequently retained my Guildford Borough seat in the May 2015 elections, with an increased majority.
I have lived with my family in Ripley, Surrey, for over 40 years and have been active in many fields during that time, running local businesses, being a school governor and treasurer, and even being a regular pantomime dame during the 1990’s!
I decided to stand as a councillor as my small community in Lovelace Ward only amounts to some 2,000 people and the GBC developing Local Plan would see this increased to around 7,000 over the next 20 years. My concerns are manifold and include the lack of necessary infrastructure, the increase in congestion on the nearby A3 and M25 trunk roads, air quality and the environment to name a few.
I vow to fight this plan until it is finally defeated, or I am, and that may be a long time yet!
Councillor Angela Gunning
‘Being a Borough Councillor has given me so much insight into how the services in Guildford are organised and run, and being able to participate in planning their delivery. I enjoy speaking to residents, understanding their problems and helping to sort things out. And not just that, but also being able to contribute in keeping Guildford a lovely and safe place to live.’
Council meetings are usually held in the evening starting at 7pm but can occasionally occur during the day.
The following link takes you to the Council’s calendar of meetings, which will give you an idea of the number and frequency of meetings:
You can also watch our meetings live via the Council’s webcasting facility:
In the run up to the election, we will update this page with key dates for new councillors to be aware of.
To become a councillor you have to stand at local elections and compete with other candidates to gain the most votes from the local electorate.
You do not have to belong to or represent a political party to stand in the elections. You can stand as an Independent Candidate or choose not to have a description to your name. If you wish to represent a political party it must be one of the parties registered with the Electoral Commission.
If you choose to stand for a party you will need to go through their selection process before you can be put forward as their candidate.
If you would like to find out more about being a councillor for a political party please visit:
If you are interested in other political parties, please view the Register of Political Parties.
In order to stand at the elections you must first get a set of nomination papers from Electoral Services at Guildford Borough Council, which will explain the nomination process. These packs are available nearer the election date. Information about Guildford’s Electoral Services is available here:
Are there any legal requirements to becoming a councillor?
Yes. The legal requirements to stand as a councillor are as follows:
To qualify as a candidate you must be:
You must meet at least one of the following criteria:
You cannot stand for election if you:
I’m still not sure about whether I am eligible to be a councillor at the 2019 election. How can I find out?
Test your eligibility or read the Electoral Commission’s guidance.
I would like to be a candidate for a political party. Who should I contact?
For contact information about each of the political groups, please see the tab above this one named ‘How do I become a councillor in Guildford’.
How can I stand for council without joining a political party?
You can stand for council without belonging to a political party. You might find it helpful to read the Electoral Commission’s guidance for independent candidates.
Do I need to appoint an election agent?
It is advisable to appoint an election agent to act on your behalf. Your agent would, amongst other things, ensure that your forms are sent in correctly, keep a detailed record of financial expenditure for submission after the election and generally organise your campaign ensuring that it is lawful.
How do I find out which electoral ward I live in?
You can find out which ward you live in by clicking on the link below and using the post code search facility.
Will I get paid to be a councillor?
Councillors are not paid a salary but they are entitled to receive a ‘basic allowance’, which is intended to recognise the time devoted to their work on behalf of the people of Guildford and in connection with council business.
Each council sets its own rate for councillors’ allowances, and you can find out more information from https://www.guildford.gov.uk/article/18872/Councillors-allowances
How much time will it take?
How much time you spend on your duties as a councillor is largely up to you and will depend on the particular commitments you take on. The precise amount of time will depend on the roles and commitments each councillor takes on and can vary considerably. On average councillors can spend up to twenty-five hours per week, but the time spent can increase for members allocated to leading roles, such as Executive Members or a Committee Chairman.
You will be expected to attend council meetings and meetings of committees to which you have been appointed, which are mostly held during the evening. As with most things in life, what you get back will depend on how much you put in. However, remember, the amount of time you give to it is almost entirely up to you.
Before you consider becoming a councillor, you may want to discuss it with your family and friends to make sure they understand what you are taking on. You will need their support, as you will have to spend some of your spare time on council business.
Will I get time off work?
Yes. By law if you are working, your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours to perform your duties as a councillor. The amount of time given will depend on your responsibilities and the effect of your absence on your employer’s business.
You should discuss this with your employer before making the commitment to stand for election.
What support will I receive?
Guildford Borough Council is committed to providing councillors with advice and support for all aspects of their role. After an election, all new councillors have the opportunity to attend an induction programme to enable them to meet the key people who will support them in their role and attend events to familiarise them with the work of the council, the expectations of councillors and ways in which they can carry out key tasks.
Councillors are also provided with ongoing learning and development support to broaden their knowledge, skills and confidence. In the first few weeks, experienced councillors will be available to guide you in getting to know the workings of the borough council and your role within it. Committee Services will be your point of contact to signpost you round the council for the first couple of months.
IPads will be issued at the reception day for newly elected councillors. Arrangements will be made with those councillors that have been re-elected to retain their current IPads. We will provide a secure app for Androids and IPads that will enable you to remotely access the Council’s systems, email, calendar, contact information as well as Council and Committee papers. Remote access can also be facilitated via councillors’ own home laptops/and or tablet devices.
All councillors are expected to provide at their own expense, a private ADSL broadband connection and computer hardware, including a printer and consumables. ICT staff can assist and advise councillors but will not be able to place orders on their behalf.
Mobile phones are issued to all councillors that sit on the Executive, the Chairmen and the Leaders of the Political Groups.
What support is available for councillors with disabilities?
An audio loop system is available in Council Chamber for people with a hearing impairment. Councillors are encouraged to contact Member Services following their election to discuss their personal needs so that reasonable adjustments can be made.
How can I find out about Member training and development?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
A guide to being a councillor – A summary publication that outlines the role of a councillor and how the council works, and provides contact details for further information.
An interactive workbook, providing a more detailed, practical understanding of the role of a county councillor.
The Electoral Commission Candidate and Agent guidance – a link to all of the current guidance for Candidates and Candidate Agents
Adviser – Leadership and Localism
Tel: 0207 664 3272
Democratic Services Manager
Guildford Borough Council
Tel: 01483 444102
The Electoral Commission (main office)
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
Tel: 0333 1031928
17A Home Farm
Tel: 01483 300330
Fax: 01483 300321
96 London Road
Tel: 01483 829305 (landline)
Guildford Greenbelt Group
Guildford Green Party
Mr Mark Parry
The Peace Party – Non-Violence, Justice, Environment
Mr John Morris